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Response to hedgehog (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:48 PM

94. Yes, and who benefits from the privatization of public assets.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/selling-off-greece-stone-by-stone-commerce-threatens-innate-beauty-1.2037491

Nearly four years ago, the German tabloid Bild suggested that, in return for the European Union bailout, Greece should sell off the Acropolis and some islands, including Corfu. Everyone laughed. And yet now it is happening. The International Monetary Fund-led troika has insisted Greece should sell state assets through Taiped (Hellenic Asset Development Fund) – an agency not unlike Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency.
Taiped is selling assets, from a disused mental hospital, a ski slope and a marina to all Greece’s regional airports, the national rail network, the water supply of Thessaloniki, and millions of acres of real estate, including gold mines worth an estimated €10 billion.
Deutsche Telekom acquired the Greek network some years ago and last year Azerbaijan bought the national gas company. The port of Piraeus, a controlling interest in Athens airport and the huge site of the former airport, are all up for grabs, with China doing most of the grabbing.
Last year, the Emir of Qatar purchased a small island within a Natura 2000 zone on which to construct a palace. The island of Elafonisos (on the southern edge of the Peloponnese), with stunning back-to-back beaches and also within a Natura 2000 zone, is listed by the Guardian as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It’s up for sale.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/greece-protests-sell-off-historic-buildings

"The government is constantly trying to convey the message that the economy is a success story but in reality that is not the case at all," said prominent leftwing campaigner Petros Constantinou. "The decision to put public buildings up for sale is not just proof that they are nowhere near reaching targets but plain wrong when they could be exploited for public benefit."

The decision to sell off public assets invested with such historic significance has not only angered anti-austerity leftists. It has raised howls of protest from reform-minded conservatives with many wondering whether Greece is finally enacting what Germany's tabloid press has long taunted it to do: sell off its cultural heritage to pay off its monumental debt.

"The rush to sell these assets … raises serious questions [as to] whether they are being purposely sold on the cheap in order to speed up the privatisation process," thundered Nikos Xydakis in the conservative daily Kathimerini, lamenting the decision to sell off properties imbued with such symbolic value around the Acropolis. "Will the outrageous proposal put forward by the German magazine Bild suggesting that Greece should sell or rent its island to cut its debt [next] come to pass?" he asked.



I remember posting back in 2011 about the drooling by WSJ about buying newly privatized assets. So, who has benefited from this austerity induced action? Clearly not the Greek public.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=34083

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